Victim gets justice, Salesian priest gets 20-month minimum term

One of the victims of the latest Salesian priest jailed for sex crimes at a notorious boarding school outside Melbourne hopes his case will encourage others to contact police and seek justice.

Richard Brown was one of five boys sexually assaulted by Frank De Dood???, who was on Monday jailed for three years for abusing children he was either teaching or responsible for between 1978 and 1983.

Four victims attended Salesian College Rupertswood, in Sunbury, the scene of a string of sex assaults when a group of paedophile priests worked at the school and preyed on students.

De Dood also abused one boy at a Salesian residence in Oakleigh before he was posted to Rupertswood.

Mr Brown was in the County Court as De Dood was jailed for a minimum 20 months and afterwards urged other victims of sexual assaults to contact police.

"I just hope that the boys who are out there who haven't come forward [know that] the process isn't easy, but [there is] the satisfaction at the end of the day - you can get justice," he said.

"There's a relief. It's been a long time. It's nice to have a result and for those of us who have been involved, we move forward and that's all we can do."

De Dood was a teacher, sports coach and dormitory supervisor at Rupertswood who preyed on boys aged between 12 and 15 for his own sexual gratification.

Judge Susan Cohen said De Dood once brazenly sexually assaulted a boy in a full classroom, while discussing the student's work with words that had a deliberate double meaning.

He sexually abused the boy again when he kept him back at recess.

De Dood also strapped another boy's bare backside one night before sexually assaulting him and threatening expulsion if the boy told anyone, and on another occasion abused a sleeping boy in the dormitory.

The court heard De Dood admitted to a psychologist that he hit "plenty of kids", but was reluctant to discuss the sexual offending.

He pleaded guilty to five counts of indecent assault and one of indecent and unlawful assault, but only after he had his lawyer cross-examine three victims last year.

In court on Monday, the 64-year-old kept his head down and his left hand near his mouth for the entire sentence and refused to look up even as Judge Cohen jailed him.

Judge Cohen said De Dood lived at Salesian schools or residences all his adult life after attending Rupertswood as a boarder himself, and had never had to fend for himself.

He now suffers from depression and anxiety and is set to be stripped of his priesthood, the court heard.

Judge Cohen said De Dood had inflicted long-term damage on his victims, who as boys all experienced guilt, self-doubt, a reluctance to attend school and fears they would not be believed.

The passage of time had not eased their problems, the judge said.

"Every one of them conveys a strong sense that his education suffered and was ultimately cut short as a result," she said.

"And each has suffered from realising that he might have achieved more in life, whether through education or less emotional or psychological instability."

Other former priests to have been jailed in recent years for sexual assaults at Rupertswood include former principal Frank Klep, former assistant principal David Rapson, Julian Fox and Peter Van Ruth, while other priests have been investigated by police.

The school, which last year issued a public apology to the survivors of it's staff's sexual abuse, declined to comment on Monday.

This story Victim gets justice, Salesian priest gets 20-month minimum term first appeared on The Age.